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Have to give my two cents worth.
I drove all those cars before I bought my cruze last week. 1lt
So far I am getting 25 - 26 pure city driving. Seems to be going down but how did they manage 18.
I drove a new focus and the interior just felt cheap to me. The fold down rear seat had no fold down split it was all or nothing. It did feel like it had more power but it had to get the rpms up. I like how the cruze gets up to traffic speed in no time and not needing to rev.
Our other car is a 2007 mazda 3. It came down to a mazda 3 and the cruze for me. I chose the cruze because I got offered a better deal and it has more options. And most importantly the cruze is better looking IMO. I like how our mazda looks compared to the new ones.

In the end I felt the cruze drove better than mazda and handled just as good if not better. I love the way it stays flat in turns but yet rides like an adult car. our mazda has a stiffer and more punishing ride without handling any better. although I do like how they ride too.

if you look at the handling results the cruze, mazda, and elantra all tied. I drove an elantra I thought it handled terrible compared to the mazda 3 and cruze but maybe I got a bad car or something I don't know.

one last note is the my touch system did suck in the focus. I think they made a big mistake going with microsoft. also why does there have to be advertising for microsoft on every fricken car. I don't want to see microsoft advertising every time I get in MY car and go for a drive. the system in the cruze is much better IMO simpler and more elegant. the focus system looked cheesy IMO.

anyway my two cents worth.
 
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